[LEAPSECS] Testing computer leap-second handling

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Tue Jul 10 10:11:39 EDT 2012

On Jul 10, 2012, at 12:44 AM, Clive D.W. Feather wrote:

> Rob Seaman said:

>> The issue (discussed many times previously) is to avoid introducing a secular trend into UTC.


> And, as also discussed, you have yet to show that the woman on the Clapham omnibus even cares.

Wikipedia gives context for your colorful phraseology:

"The man on the Clapham omnibus is a reasonably educated and intelligent but non-specialist person, against whom the conduct of the defendant can be measured."

I suppose an Astronomer and her jack-of-all-trades husband might well live in Clapham, "a nondescript commuter suburb". Many astronomers do (live in suburbs, that is). On the other hand I note you didn't choose to place your hypothetical passenger on the HMS Association.

But it is not entirely clear how I'm the defendant here - or how this is a matter for a court to decide. It is a simple fact, whatever judge and jury opine, that a day is a mean solar day. Diurnal rhythms abound throughout our society and technological infrastructure.

However, this is Jarndyce v Jarndyce without jurisdiction. Atomic time and Earth orientation are two different things. The woman on the bus could simply consult the GPS time on her smartphone.

Universal Time has always meant mean solar time and should continue to do so. The burden of proof is on the other side.


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